Column: Public education funding across the U.S. needs improvement

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Margaret Mellott

Managing editor

mmellot1@jccc.edu

Everyone goes through the education system at some point in their life.

I understand that our country is in debt. I know it’s not easy. Trying to figure out funding isn’t easy. I know that, but shouldn’t educating our children be one of our top priorities? Since the crash in 2008, we are still trying to reach the amount of funding we had before. However, it feels like with every chance there is, the government cuts funding.

Why is this? Where do our priorities lie?

So, what exactly does funding for education do? It’s more than getting new textbooks, raising teachers salary, and providing the different clubs and organizations with the money they need to exist. It’s about providing for and protecting our children.

Education funding

In a series of tweets from Kris W. Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State, he said “Throwing money at school’s doesn’t work! Doing the same thing over and over again isn’t the solution. We must spend money where it counts and tell the courts to get out of our way. #ksgop #ksleg

“I went to Washburn Rural High School in Topeka. We used beat up textbooks and held classes in a single-wide mobile home in the parking lot. Somehow I made it into Harvard. It didn’t hurt my education! #ksleg #ksgop18”

I responded by quote tweeting him a few things, but the most important is “Do you not understand that other, much less privileged kids — that are much smarter than you — can’t even make it past HS graduation because of the circumstances they’re in? If public education was in better shape, we could give students the resources they need to graduate.”

Of course I understand that a lot of the problems won’t be solved with money. However, a big step in improving education would be to just stop cutting funding. The children in this country are our future presidents, congressmen, doctors, teachers and other just as important jobs. Why isn’t their education a priority?

The one issue I hear the most has to do with taxation. Some people only want their taxes to go to something that directly benefits them. While I can understand it with certain, less direct taxes, I don’t when it comes to education.

Everyone has ties to education. We all went to school, our parents went to school, and one day, our children will go to school. How could you not want the best for the children in the country, because one day, it will directly impact you.

I’m not alone in the belief that the U.S. education system is in need of help. In a study done by the Pew Research Center, 66 percent say the education system either needs to be completely rebuilt (21 percent) or that it needs major changes (45 percent).

Education is so, so important. We need to be doing more.

Security funding

This isn’t a column about gun control, but it needs to be addressed. This is about making the effort to better protect the children in public schools. We can do that by adding more the education budget.

In proposed bill HR 18-06 and SPB 7026 for Florida, it suggests that $67 million be put towards a “school marshal” program to train teachers to carry guns. In a study done by CNN, three-fourths of teachers in the nation would not want to carry a gun. If teachers don’t want to carry guns, the $67 million could be used to better improve the education system.

With better funding, we could find security alternatives that will help prevent these school shootings. Maybe it’s employing counselors that do more than just help with college applications. Maybe it’s providing better education on mental health in classes. Maybe it’s better training for teachers regarding “red-flag” students. I don’t have all the answers, but at least I’m trying.

Most of the time in politics, people get caught up with only saying “no” to certain things. If you want to shoot down an idea, you should always have another suggestion. If you can’t decide between two ideas, try to come up with other solutions. People get so stuck on one thing or the other and it’s frustrating. It’s not that difficult to come together and work on something, especially if it’s something that everyone has a tie to, like education.

The education system is failing our students. The goal should be provide kids with the best and safest learning environments. Better funding is going to do more than provide textbooks, it will give students the resources they need to succeed. As a country, our children’s education should be a number one priority; let’s get there.

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